Split In Appellate Opinion
I have a separate sidebar category on “automobiles” because the auto industry spawns many decisions about the enforceability of arbitration clauses in sales contracts. As I have previously posted on August 26, 2012, and January 7, 2013, Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co. LLC, 201 Cal.App.4th 74 (2012) is pending before the California Supreme Court, and presents as an issue whether unconconscionability defenses to arbitrating auto sales disputes are preempted by AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. __ , 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011).
In Vargas v. Sai Monrovia B, Inc., B237257 (June 4, 2013) (Mallano, J., author; Rothschild, J. writing separate concurrence) (for publication), the Second District, Division 1 has revisited its ruling in Sanchez. Unsurprisingly, it concludes that unconscionability defenses are not preempted. As in Sanchez, the Court again concludes “that the identical sale contract does not require the arbitration of disputes between a purchaser and a dealer because it is permeated by unconscionability.”
The split in appellate opinion is expressly noted in footnote 4: “In Goodridge and Natalni, the Courts of Appeal concluded the Sale Contract was unconscionable. In Flores and Vasquez, the Courts of Appeal reached the opposite conclusion.”
Above: 1965 Monte Carlo Rally winner: 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S. Source: Wikimedia Commons/License. Author: “DeFacto.” (Note: The subject of Vargas v. Sai Monrovia B, Inc. was a Mini Cooper S.)